Kenya’s tourism revenue has doubled to 167.1 billion shillings ($1 billion) between January to August from 83 billion shillings in the same period last year, the country’s Tourism and Wildlife Minister, Najib Balala said.
Balala said in a statement that the revenue was a result of a 91% increase in international visitors, especially due to the world’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. As the revenue soar to an encouraging figure, Balala forecasts an even stronger growth through the end of the year.
Along with horticulture, and tea, among others, tourism is Kenya’s most important source of foreign exchange.
Recall that Tourist arrivals in Kenya also grew by 53.29% in 2021 to 870,465 compared to 567,848 in 2020, according to data released by its Tourism Research Institute.
This performance was hampered by the increasing fear of the delta variant of Covid-19 in the first quarter, but it showed steady growth from June to December.
According to Bureau of Tourism Secretary Najib Balala, this strong growth could also be traced to renewed marketing efforts to promote Kenya as a magical, beautiful, and welcoming tourist destination.
The country’s efforts also included containing the COVID-19 pandemic and creating innovative products launching space for major companies. The tourism agency of Kenya also played important roles in ensuring hotels as well as airlines were of international standards.
Tourist arrivals were also boosted by Kenya’s decision to host major sporting events, notably the WRC – Safari Rally and World Athletics Under 20, which also did much to rebuild confidence in Kenya as a travel destination.
The tourism industry recorded a 34.76% increase in revenue, equivalent to KSh 146 billion or US$1.46 billion, compared to KSh 88 billion (US$885 million) in 2020